Linda Hogan is a Chickasaw poet and novelist. Her fiction has garnered honors, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and her poetry collections have received the American Book Award, Colorado Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle nomination.
Split This Rock Recommended Poetry Books of 2014
Finalist for the 2015 Paterson Poetry Prize
Praise for Linda Hogan
“Her poetry is deeply engaged with nature and personal experience; I loved its lyricism and its emotional engagement.”—Rosemary and Reading Glasses
“Hogan’s poetry is most compelling in its refusal: refusing to tell you what you expect, what you want to hear. Her speakers refuse to play to cultural tropes.”—The Volta
“Linda Hogan is essential, a mighty and bedrock voice in American letters. Any book by her is cause for celebration, but this volume should cause outbreaks of dancing. Brilliant.” —Luis Urrea
“Linda Hogan’s poetry has always been a medicine of sort . . . These poems in particular cross over to speak for us in the shining world. They bring back words for healing, the distilled truth of all theses stories that are killing us with tears and laughter.” —Joy Harjo
“Linda Hogan’s vision is breathtaking: the embryonic fingers of a fetal whale, the imperial walk of a raven, the torn-cloth dresses of her Chickasaw ancestors, are distilled in these pages into a critique of human survival. The Book of Medicines feels like a gift from the earth’s entire past to the present moment.” —Barbara Kingsolver
“A 400-page collection celebrating women, spirituality, justice, and peace.”—Santa Barbara Independent
“Despite the pain, loss, and frustration that percolate through her poetry, what’s so remarkable about Dark. Sweet. is the palpable optimism and unceasing call to change. This is a poet deeply in love with humanity and the natural world, who projects a hopeful vision of the future. . .” —Cleaver Magazine
“Linda Hogan’s often prayer-like poems evoke liminality, speaking from blurred boundaries of animal and human, self and other, but it is the constant interpenetration of the sacred and mundane, which poet-theorist Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei calls “the ecstatic quotidian,” that sets Linda Hogan’s work on a plane of its own.”—World Literature Today
Those Who Thunder
Those who thunder
have dark hair
and red throw rugs.
They burn paper in bathroom sinks.
Their voices refuse to suffer
and their silences know the way
straight to the heart;
it’s bus route number eight.
They sing all day.
and at night
they put on their shawls and dance
thundering on wooden floors,
the feet saying
and those on floor number one
who are scrubbing
put down the gray cloth
and beat on the tiles. Take notice
we are done
with your scrubbing
and gluing together your broken stones
and with putting the open sign
around the neck of night
and bolting the sun to save your warehouse
from thieves and crooks.
You could say the sky is having a collapse,
you could say it’s our thunder.
Explain to the president
why I am beating on the floor
and my name has been changed to
Those Who Thunder.
Tell him through the storm windows.
Those are fists he hears pounding.
Tell him we are returning
all the bad milk to the market.
Tell them all
we won’t put up with hard words and low wages
one more day.
Those meek who were blessed
but hungry, no meat or potatoes,
never salsa or any spice.
Those timid are sagging in the soul
and those poor who will inherit the earth
already work it
so take shelter,
take shelter you,
because we are thundering and beating on floors
and this is how walls have fallen in other cities.